New Jersey Assemblyman, Paul Moriarty, Pushing for Mandatory Police Car Video Recorders

Crime Scene When police officers do their job, you expect that they follow all the right procedures and policies in making arrests, and handing out tickets. You would also think that having car video recorders in about 75% of police cruisers would make it essential for officers to handle each situation with the highest level of professionalism. In most cases, this is probably an accurate assumption, but for one New Jersey assemblyman, a police car video camera proved just the opposite.Two years ago, Paul Moriarty was pulled over and arrested for drunken driving by an officer who had a car video recorder mounted in his cruiser. The officer accused him of erratic driving, but Moriarty denied having consumed alcohol, and refused to take a blood-alcohol test. He stated that he thought the officer would tamper with the results if he agreed to the exam.After reviewing the police car camera, charges against Moriarty were dropped, and the assemblyman is now proposing a new bill to require video cameras in every new police car. The bill has been strongly supported by New Jersey Legislature, and will become law on August 11, if Governor Chris Christie doesn’t veto it. Out of the 41 cars in the arresting officer’s department, his car was only one of nine others that had cameras. Currently, there is a push for in-car camera systems for police cars in other parts of the nation as well. In fact, the government doled out over $21 million at the beginning of this year to help purchase these video cameras for police departments in 47 states as well as Washington D.C. Moriarty has been vocal about the importance of these cameras for tracking police behavior, but also explains that they can be helpful to police as well.”More often than not, it’s the police who are unfairly accused of wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior. Without visual evidence to the contrary, they are often subjected to internal affairs investigations, accusatory headlines and frivolous lawsuits,” he said. The arresting officer is facing several charges, including official misconduct, and falsifying a police report. He has pled not guilty.

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